Caging Complex Objects with Geodesic Balls

Dmitry Zarubin, Florian T. Pokorny, Marc Toussaint, Danica Kragic
In IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), 2013


This paper proposes a novel approach for the synthesis of grasps of objects whose geometry can be observed only in the presence of noise. We focus in particular on the problem of generating caging grasps with a realistic robot hand simulation and show that our method can generate such grasps even on complex objects. We introduce the idea of using geodesic balls on the object's surface in order to approximate the maximal contact surface between a robotic hand and an object. We define two types of heuristics which extract information from approximate geodesic balls in order to identify areas on an object that can likely be used to generate a caging grasp. Our heuristics are based on two scoring functions. The first uses winding angles measuring how much a geodesic ball on the surface winds around a dominant axis, while the second explores using the total discrete Gaussian curvature of a geodesic ball to rank potential caging postures. We evaluate our approach with respect to variations in hand kinematics, for a selection of complex real-world objects and with respect to its robustness to noise.


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@inproceedings{zarubin2013b, author = {Zarubin, Dmitry, and Pokorny, Florian T. and Toussaint, Marc and Kragic, Danica}, booktitle = {IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS)}, title = {Caging Complex Objects with Geodesic Balls}, year = {2013}, address = {Tokyo, Japan}, url = {}, }